Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For December 05, 2010

Average amount that holiday shoppers plan to spend on holiday gifts, according to PriceGrabber's holiday survey: $845

Of online consumers, percentage who said that they plan to spend $500 or more on holiday gifts (up 7 percent from last year): 66

Percentage of total purchases that the average 2010 holiday shopper will make online: 57


Percentage of all adults in the U.S. who were married in 2008, according to a Pew Research Center nationwide survey, done in association with Time magazine and complemented by an analysis of demographic and economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau: 52

Percentage who were married in 1960: 72

Percentage of respondents who say that marriage is becoming obsolete: 39

When Time posed this question to registered voters in 1978, percentage who agreed: 28

Despite growing uncertainties, percentage of Americans who are optimistic about the future of marriage and family: 67

Source: PEW Internet and American Life Project.

Percentage of the affluent who said they will not buy any gifts for this holiday season, according to a survey of the wealthiest 10 percent of U.S. households by the American Affluence Research Center: 12

Estimated number of households represented by the wealthiest 10 percent: 11.4 million

Percentage overall average decline from the $2,399 that the respondents say they spent on gifts in 2009: 3.9

Source: American Affluence Research Center.

Ranks of employee attitudes, effective management, strong trust relationships, and customer focus on the list of elements that workers find to be critical to company culture, according to Randstad's Work Watch survey: 1, 2, 3, 4

Percentage of workers who describe their current work culture as "all hands on deck": 38

Percentage who describe their work culture as a "process" culture, where it's all about data, grids and forms: 18

Percentage who describe their work culture as a "work hard/play hard" culture: 16

Source: Randstad-USA.

Percentage of workers who admitted to falling asleep on the job, according to a CareerBuilder survey: 45

Percentage who admitted to kissing a co-worker: 39

Percentage who admitted to spreading a rumor about a co-worker: 22


Percentage of people who use the same password to log into multiple websites, according to research commissioned by Webroot: 41

Percentage of all users who never use special characters (e.g., exclamation marks, question marks, ampersands, etc.) in their passwords: 49

Percentage who have used a significant date, such as a birthdate, or a pet's name as a password -- information that's often publicly visible on social networks: 20

Source: Webroot Software Inc.

Percentage of drivers who say they are guilty of eating while driving during the past 60 days, according to a Kelley Blue Book poll: 21

Percentage who admitted to texting while driving: 13

Percentage who fiddled with the navigation system: 12

Source: Kelley Blue Book.

Percentage of U.S. travelers who confess to taking a vacation simply because they found a great deal, according to TripAdvisor: 60

Percentage of savvy travelers, unafraid to shop around, who subscribe to deals newsletters: 69

Of those who subscribe, percentage who receive between one and five deals newsletters: 81

Source: TripAdvisor.

Among online shoppers, percentage who search for online coupons or deals when they purchase something on the Internet, according to an online shopping poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of 63

Percentage who do so regularly: 21 (9 percent who do so always, and 12 percent who do so most of the time)

Percentage who do so sporadically: 42

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Predicted percentage rise in food import bills for the world's poorest countries in 2010, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: 11

Predicted percentage rise for low-income food-deficit countries: 20

Source: FAO.

Idle Thought

"Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual." -- Arthur Koestler, novelist and journalist

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)